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|Braminar's title screen.|
|Reading combat results is almost as fun as participating!|
|A Braminar character towards the end of the game.|
|For doing a good deed, my diety [sic] gives me a box of Duncin' [sic] Doughnuts [sic].|
|Killing Cerberus with poison. My god is impressed.|
|"Enchanted forest" visits rarely go badly.|
|Buying things one-at-a-time in town.|
|Neither the riddle nor any of its answers make any sense.|
|This is supposed to be funny, I guess. I just don't know how.|
|The ring is useful in an encounter with Antrax.|
|This author Has an interesting relationship With capitalization.|
|The "bad" ending of the game, although with this game, no ending is truly "bad."|
"Good evening, Winston," said the elder assassin.
"Widowmaker," said the ape, grimly, with a three second delay. "I see you have acquired Lena's prefix code."
"Thank you for responding," she said. "We have not talked in some time."
"Using Lena's code set will get my attention. Does she still have access to it too?"
The spider smiled wanly and leaned out of the way. Lena popped into view, "Hiya, big guy! It's okay, I'm here, she's using my kit."
Winston blinked confusedly. "oh! Hello! Where have you been? I hadn't heard from you in a few weeks, and then I heard about London. What exactly happened?"
"I'll tell you tomorrow, now that I don't have MI5 watching my every breath. It'll be a lot easier to get ahold of you from now on! But Amélie needs to talk to you alone, and I wanted to make sure you'd answer, so... hear her out, will ya? For me?"
Winston did not look pleased by the request. "I... what's this all about?"( this is a long one )
From climate change to capitalism run amok, street artist Blu (previously) pulls no punches in his soaring multi-story murals on the streets of Italy. While mixed with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, the inspiration behind each artwork is anything but funny as he translates searing critiques into aesthetically beautiful paintings. For instance a 2016 piece criticizing housing problems in the Celadina district of Bergamo, Italy depicts cramped residents as a brightly hued rainbow but leaves a small group of authorities in the lower right completely devoid of color. Collected here is a selection of murals from the last year, you can see more detailed shots by flipping through his blog. You can also get an idea of how he works—perched on a tiny suspended seat—in this short GIF.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft launched in 2011, arriving at Jupiter in July of 2016 to begin a series of what will eventually be 12 orbits around the Solar System’s largest planet. The path selected for this particular mission is a wide polar orbit, most of which is spent well away from Jupiter. But once every 53 days Juno screams from top to bottom across the surface of the gaseous planet, recording data and snapping photographs for two hours. It takes around 1.5 days to download the six megabytes of data collected during the transit.
Juno only takes a handful of still photographs each time it passes Jupiter, all of which are made available to the public. Lucky for us Sean Doran stitched together the images from Juno’s last transit (colorized by Gerald Eichstädt) to create an approximate video/animation of what it looks like to fly over the giant planet. Music added by Avi Solomon.
Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a former Christian who, after suffering a great tragedy on a mission in Africa, has established a career investigating and debunking miracles. Along with her assistant Ben (Idris Elba), she travels to the Louisiana town of Haven when the local river turns blood-red. Instead of discovering a natural phenomenon she finds herself in the midst of a series of Biblical plagues and a town guarding a hidden secret.
The Reaping boasts a great cast, a talented director and some impressive production values. It is important to note that from the outset, because those specific merits are easily lost by the film’s ham-fisted, cliche-ridden and wall-to-wall dreadful screenplay. There have been some great horror films made out of Christian theology. A few, like William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, stand as genuine all-time greats of cinema. The Reaping has no chance of following them, or even managing to reach their shadow. It is less of a thriller and more of a long, tedious list of things not to do in a horror movie.
For one thing it foreshadows its story aggressively, resulting in pretty much no surprises whatsoever. Had it concealed its tracks a little better it could have climaxed on a tremendous bait-and-switch, but instead it just confirms what most of its audience will have already guessed.
It also leaves little room for doubt between whether the phenomena affecting Haven are measurable scientific occurrences or if they actually are divine or demonic miracles. There is a clear tension available to the film in pitting skeptical scientists against issues of faith, but the screenplay folds almost as soon as it begins.
That dovetails into the weirdest element of the film, which is an oddly evangelistic tone that permeates the horror and weakens the entire story. Horror works when it is inexplicable and terrifying. The Reaping ultimately seems to be pitching for a belief in a Christian God to defend oneself against Satan. By being so specific it ruins the uncertainty completely, and for a viewer tired of Christian proselytizing it actually irritates a little bit.
The film also ends in a large-scale, visual effects-oriented fashion, which is another quick kiss of death to horror and tension. Nobody is afraid of a massive computer-generated effect. The best horror is intimate, and small, and difficult to perceive.
This is all a tremendous shame, because as noted earlier the rest of the film actually does bring a lot of quality to the film. Hilary Swank delivers a very strong performance as a woman who has lost her faith, only to be violently challenged to find it again. She begins the film at least as a smart, analytical and bold scientific investigator. Idris Elba and David Morrissey are both effective in supporting roles. Director Stephen Hopkins – who has directed much better films than this including The Ghost and the Darkness and Under Suspicion – brings out some nice performances and staging throughout. It is all servicing a terrible screenplay, so in the final analysis all of the acting, direction and production values are little more than lipstick on a pig. ‘You can’t polish a turd,’ states one famous Hollywood maxim. ‘But you can roll it in glitter,’ states another.
A month or two ago I bought this book:
It’s a fun idea, making art materials from scratch. It’s also amusing to see where the author goes in the pursuit of creating them ‘from nature’. Some of the tools used to make them are modern (drills, carving knife), and yet it suggests making glue by melting down animal hoofs, etc.
A friend cut me some of her bamboo so I could try making pens. It was easy enough to carve them. However, the book doesn’t say whether to use fresh or dry bamboo, or what kind. My pens shrivelled out as they dried out:
I don’t think I’ll be getting any nice lines out of these!
I’d like to try making my own paint brush and black ink. Hopefully they won’t be as great a failure as my bamboo pens!
DC Comics. Written by Hope Larson. Art by Chris Wildgoose and Jim Lam. Colours by Mat Lopes.It's time for the final showdown between Batgirl and Blacksun, aka Ethan Cobblepot - the resentful and brilliant tech genius son of the Penguin. This second story arc for Hope Larson's run shows an enormous improvement over the middling "Beyond Burnside" storyline. It returns Batgirl to Gotham's university suburb of Burnside and re-introduces the suppporting cast that made the previous volume of the comic so much more involving and entertaining. I mentioned Chris Wildgoose's wonderfully strong and distinctive artwork when reviewing the last issue, but it really does bear repeating. An exciting story, a neatly tied-up climax, and a new villain to potentially return in future. All up it's a great superhero comic. (4/5)
Image. Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe. Art and colours by Owen Gieni.The Rat Queen's return to Palisades isn't going so well, since not only is there a rival group working their same missions there is also a team of cult hunters in town threatening to make life difficult. This is a great issue: the humour is hitting the right notes, Owen Gieni's artwork has settled in nicely and it really does feel like a ship has been righted. If anything this book feels even more comedic than it used to. with some funny segues and left-of-field moments really making a difference. (4/5)
Image. Written by Rick Remender. Art by Jerome Opena. Colours by Matt Hollingsworth.Adam Osidis and the Mosak have no option in their journey to venture into a cursed swamp, risking death from the horrors inside than death at the hands of the Mud King's son who pursues them. This is a big issue, with high stakes and a game-changing choice made. I have gushed about Jerome Opena's exceptional artwork when reviewing previous issues, but it is worth pausing to appreciate what a well-developed and satisfying quest storyline that Rick Remember has written as well. The world-building is tremendous. This is an outstanding and must-read fantasy comic book. (5/5)
Valiant. Written by Matt Kindt. Art by Tomas Giorello, David Mack and Zu Orzu. Colours by Diego Rodriguez.It's a double Valiant dose of Matt Kindt this week as he also writes the third issue of X-O Manowar. With Aric on an alien planet somewhere far away from Earth, and fighting someone else's pitched war as a slave, there is a lot to this relaunched book that reminds me of Greg Pak's outstanding "Planet Hulk" run for Marvel - and that's no bad thing. Sometimes the best thing you can do with a long-running character is throw them into an entirely new and challenging environment. This book is just stunning to look at, with rich heroic fantasy designs and a classical feel. There is even some valuable back story on the planet's ruling classes with guest artwork from David Mack. Three issues in, X-O Manowar is just stunning. (5/5)
I recently discovered git worktrees and did some experimentation with using them for stuff that I do. The short summary of my experience so far is that while I can see the appeal for certain sorts of usage cases, I don't think git worktrees are a good fit for my situation and I'm probably to use completely independent repositories in the future.
My usage case was building my own copies of multiple versions of some project, starting with Go. Especially in the case of a language compiler and its standard library, it's reasonably useful to have the latest development version plus a stable version or two; for example, it gives me an easy way to test if something I'm working on will build on older released versions or if I've let a dependency on some recent bit of the standard library creep in. The initial process of creating a worktree for, say, Go 1.8 is reasonably straightforward:
cd /some/where/go git worktree add -b release-branch.go1.8 ../v1.8 origin/release-branch.go1.8
What proved tricky for me is updating this
v1.8 tree when the Go
people update Go 1.8, as they do periodically.
My normal way of staying up to date on what changes are happening
in the main line of Go is to do '
git pull' in my master repo
directory, note the lines that get printed out about fetched updates,
remote: Finding sources: 100% (64/64) remote: Total 64 (delta 23), reused 64 (delta 23) Unpacking objects: 100% (64/64), done. From https://go.googlesource.com/go ffab6ab877..d64c49098c master -> origin/master
And then I use '
git log ffab6ab877..d64c49098c' to see what
changed. The problem with worktrees is that this information is
printed by '
git fetch', and normally '
git fetch' updates all
branches, both the mainline and, say, a release branch you're
following. So I actively don't want to run '
git pull' or '
fetch' in the worktree directory, because otherwise I will have
to remember to stop and look at the mainline updates it's just
fetched and reported to me.
What I wound up doing was running '
git pull' in my main
and if there was an update to origin/release-branch.go1.8 reported,
I'd go to my '
v1.8' directory and do '
git merge --ff-only'. This
mostly worked (it blew up on me once for reasons I don't understand),
but it means that dealing with a worktree is different than dealing
with a normal Git repo directory (including an independently cloned
repo). Since '
git pull' and other Git commands work 'normally' in a
worktree, I have to explicitly remember that I created something as a
worktree (or check to see if
.git is a directory to know, since '
status' doesn't helpfully tell you one way or the other).
(In my current moderate level of Git knowledge and experience, I'm
going to avoid writing about the good usage cases I think I see for
worktrees. Anyway, one of them is documented in the
manpage; I note that their
scenario uses a worktree for a one-shot branch that's never updated
As mentioned, if I want to see if a particular Git repo is a worktree
or not I need to do '
ls -ld .git'. If it's a file, I have a
worktree. If I have a directory, with how I currently use Git,
it's a full repo. '
git worktree list' will list the main repo
and worktrees, but it doesn't annotate things with a 'you are here'
marker. Obviously if I used worktrees enough I could write a status
command to tell me, but then if I was doing that I could probably
write a bunch of commands to do what I want in general.
Bearing in mind that I don't understand Git as much as I think I
may, as far as I can see what branches '
git fetch' fetches are
determined from the configuration for the remote for a branch, not
from the branch's configuration. There appear to be two options for
fiddling things here.
The 'obvious' option is to create a second remote (call it, say,
'v1.8-origin') with the same
origin but a
setting that only fetches the particular branch:
fetch = refs/heads/release-branch.go1.8:refs/remotes/origin/release-branch.go1.8
Then I'd switch the
remote for the release-branch.go1.8 branch to
this new remote.
Git-fetch also has a feature where you can have a per-branch
$GIT_DIR/branches/<branch>; this can be used
to name the upstream 'head' (branch) that will be fetched into the
local branch. It appears that creating such a file should do the
trick, but I can't find people writing about this on the Internet
(just many copies of the
git-fetch manpage), so I'm wary of
assuming that I understand what's going to happen here. Plus, it's
apparently a deprecated legacy approach.
(If I understand all of this correctly, either approach would
git pull' in the main repo (which is on the
branch) always fetching all branches from upstream.)
NOTE TO SELFRead the whole thing. Recommended.
YOU CANNOT ACTUALLY DO ALL THE THINGS
I know you want to, and you are constantly being told that you must, excel at and be committed to, for example:
1. earning a living wage
2. healing from and/or dealing with injury, illness, emotional trauma, disability
3. basic self-care and adulting (laundry, financial management, etc.)
[... nine more categories elided... ]
...plus enough downtime to keep you functional.
But excelling at each of those is equivalent to a full-time job and you cannot physically do them all. In fact, our society considers basic competence at two of them to be a passing grade. ONLY TWO.[...]
My week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 May 2017 wasn’t special in any way whatsoever. Why should it be? All this carry-on about magical lives is a bunch of middle-class smugness that should be erased from the earth.
Did I tell you I broke my glasses on Wednesday? That event shaped the latter part of the week, because I’m struggling a bit to organise replacements. That’s under way now, thanks to the generosity of friends, and I’ll tell you more over the next few days.
For now, on with the show…
None, but I did write a piece for ZDNet that’ll appear in the next few days, and podcast plans are detailed below.
Like last week, this week I plan to do a solid amount of work on the SEKRIT editorial project; write a thing or two for ZDNet, plus, I guess, a bunch of other things, like organise new glasses. I won’t assign specific tasks to specific days, because as I explained last week, that tends to jinx things.
The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded and streamed live on
Tuesday 30 May Thursday 1 June from stilgherrian.com/edict/live/, starting at 2100 AEST. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.
(For those of you who’ve been asking about ongoing contributions, yes, I still intend to set up a better system for that. That won’t be finalised for a while, though, so one-off contributions are very welcome.)
I’m covering 5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics (ICCCF) on the Gold Coast from 16 to 18 July, I hope; and the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney on 10 to 12 October.
If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.
I also plan to produce a short series of podcasts which will be conversations with people I don’t necessarily agree with. These might be public figures — I hope to speak with One Nation’s Senator Malcolm Roberts, for example — or people who simply represent a different point of view. In June, I’ll record a pilot episode, kicking off with an easy question: Is there a God?
[Photo: The Library a la Jeffrey Smart. The view from the cafe in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba, photographed on 5 May 2017. The cropping and adjustments to the colour needed to bring out detail in the seated figure drew out the light in the matter of a Jeffrey Smart painting.]
Yup, she did it, and here is the photographic proof — a photo set with her (and Hunter, her boyfriend) before, during and after the graduation ceremony. Enjoy it as if you were there your very own self!
(And for those wondering, it was a fine ceremony, and very quick, since Athena had a graduating class of 32. Small rural schools, man. But it was enough time to get all misty-eyed.)
In Factorio, you build machines to harvest raw resources like iron ore or crude oil. Those resources are carried by conveyor belt or pipes to other machines that refine the raw materials into production-ready materials like iron plates and petrol. Those are then carried to other machines that turn them into machine parts. Those parts are then carried elsewhere and turned into a final product.
And then things get strange.
You might use that product directly. If the product is something like a conveyor belt or a robotic arm, then maybe you’ll carry that crap around in your inventory and use them to build more stuff. But the other thing that products are used for – and indeed the fate of the vast majority of manufactured products – is to be turned into science bottles.
Science bottles are yet another product. They look like little glass bottles of liquid of varying color. You have your conveyor system deliver them to science labs, and then the bottle is magically turned into research. The bottle vanishes from the world and you gain a little bit of progress towards your next research goal. Once your labs consume enough science bottles, you’ll unlock a new technology.
The early science bottles are fairly simple and can be constructed in just a couple of steps, while the late-game bottles require complex factories and vast quantities of resources.
This idea of turning raw ore into a bottle of colored juice and then turning the juice into knowledge is pretty silly and it’s obviously something you’re not supposed to think about. But we’re going to do it anyway.
The buildings on the right pull in iron, and output gears and pipes. The conveyor carries that stuff over to the row of machines in the middle, which makes engines out of them.
Factories never produce solid waste. They take in raw materials and spit out parts, and as far as we can tell nothing is lost in the process. It’s clear we’re not supposed to take this 100% literally, but… what if we did? How much stuff goes into a bottle of science juice? How much would one weigh?
Let’s start with the most basic bottle.
The red science bottle is made from a copper plate and an iron gear. In turn, one iron gear is made from two iron plates. So the raw materials required to make red science is 2 iron plates and 1 copper.
So how big are these metal plates?
Sadly, the game doesn’t give us any indication. The units page of the Wiki doesn’t really give us anything to go on. So we’re going to have to start approximating as best we can.
If we look at them on conveyor belts they look to be about half a meter square and perhaps a few centimeters thick. According to Wolfram Alpha, a block of iron 50cm × 50cm × 5cm would weigh 98kg, or 216 lbs.
I don’t really like this approximation, because it’s clear we shouldn’t be taking the sizes of things on conveyor belts literally either. Everything on a conveyor belt is the same size, regardless of how large or small it might be. A locomotive, a hand grenade, an oil refinery, and a circuit board all take up exactly the same space on the conveyor, so it’s pretty obvious these are more icons than physical representations of the objects.
Likewise, we can’t really use the player’s inventory as a guide. An assembly machine is roughly the size of a compact car, but they can be carried in stacks of 50 and the player’s starting inventory can hold 60 stacks. Moreover, their inventory can mysteriously expand with research and armor upgrades. So we have to regard the player’s inventory as a magical pocket dimension. It’s not something we can use as a guide for determining the scale or mass of an object.
Perhaps we could use the chests in the game? But then we come back to the questions of scale when we ask “How big are the chests?”
I love trains. They`re not really useful in the resource-rich maps I prefer, but I build them anyway because they`re so cool.
Consulting various forums for train nerds, it looks like weight capacity can vary quite a bit. But it seems like 100,000lbs (50 tons) is a nice conservative estimate for the payload capacity of a freight car. Let’s assume a fully loaded car in Factorio is carrying that much weight.
A car has 40 inventory slots, and each slot can hold a stack of 100 plates. That’s 4,000 total plates. This means each plate weighs 25lbs. So, picture a good-sized dumbbell.
This means a red science bottle has 25lbs of copper and 50lbs of iron. Total payload: 75 lbs.
The recipe for a green science bottle, which has the boring name "science pack 2".
Next up is the green science bottle, which takes a robot arm and one segment of the basic conveyor belt. Somehow those two devices are transformed into a glass bottle of green science juice.
So green science contains 37.5lbs of copper and 125lbs of iron. Total payload: 162.5 lbs.
Now things are going to get crazy. A blue science bottle contains a red circuit board, an “engine”, and an electric mining drill.
The problem we’re running into now is that red circuit boards take two units of plastic, and I have no idea how we’re supposed to work out how much mass is in a hunk of plastic. In the previous case we could argue that 100% of the raw materials was being used because there’s no waste. An iron gear must contain the same iron as two plates, or else every gear-making machine would quickly become buried under a mountain of metal shavings. But an oil refinery consumes crude oil and water and spits out petroleum. A chemical plant mixes the petroleum with coal to form plastic. We can’t argue that all of those raw materials wind up in the plastic bar, since the game clearly shows that some of it is burned off and released to the atmosphere in the form of grey smoke. There’s even gameplay consequences for doing this, so we can’t just hand-wave it all away as cosmetic.
We could use the same trick we used with freight trains to work out the weight, but it turns out that the stack size is the same for both metal plates and plastic. So going by weight would force us to conclude that plastic bars and metal plates have the same weight, and therefore it takes 50lbs of plastic to make a single circuit board.
The recipe for a blue science bottle
Now we just have to work out the rest of the inputs. Blue science takes 25 iron plates, 9.5 copper plates, 2 plastic bars, and an engine. If you run up the production chain a bit you can see an engine is another 9 iron plates.
So blue science contains 850 lbs of iron, 238 lbs of copper, and 2 pounds of plastic. Total payload: 1,090 lbs.
The recipe for a purple science bottle
An electric engine is just a regular engine with some circuit boards and lubricant. We can ignore the lubricant since it’s probably negligible in terms of the weight of the engine itself, and you could even argue it’s consumed producing the engine rather than running it. (Since you never add more later to keep the engine going.)
So purple science contains 825lbs of iron, 812lbs of copper, 10lbs of plastic, and 80lbs of bricks. Total payload: 1,727 lbs. Almost a ton!
There’s another bottle of grey science juice that’s used for military stuff, but it’s not very interesting. Not a lot of raw materials go into it and the ingredients are things like bullet magazines and hand grenades, which are of familiar weights. So let’s skip grey science and look at the final bottle.
The recipe for a yellow science bottle
Yellow science juice takes a battery, 3 purple circuit boards, a speed module (whatever that is) 30 units of copper cable, and a battery. Unlike the other items in this list, yellow science bottles consume more copper than iron.
The battery looks like your typical D-Cell battery, but it takes an iron plate and a copper plate. If we stick by my rule that we’re supposedly using ALL the raw materials, then the casing for this battery is 50lbs of metal. Inside of that is 20 “units” of acid, and we don’t have a good way to determine how much that might be.
So the battery is made out of 50 lbs of metal, which would suggest it’s enormous. But the icon says it’s very small. And it’s used by your flying robots, which wouldn’t really work if the batteries were really big. Let’s split the difference and say the batteries are like lightweight car batteries.
So yellow science contains 2,200 lbs of iron, 4,225 lbs of copper, 10 lbs of plastic, and 4 lbs of acid. Total payload: 6,439 lbs.
Conveyor belts carry all the different SCIENCE(!) bottles to the dome-shaped labs, where they are consumed.
Like I said earlier, these bottles are consumed by science labs. I don’t know if there’s a black hole in the center of a science lab, or what the deal is. They just vanish.
Adding up all of the bottles we’ve looked at their total combined weight comes to 9,493.5 lbs, or just short of 5 tons.
One late-game technology is the logistic network, which lets you set up a system to have flying robots move material around your base according to rules you set up. It lets you move things without needing to run conveyor belts, which is good because this late in the game your base is already blanketed in conveyors and it’s really hard to add more. Logics robots aren’t useful for bulk deliveries (they could never deliver copper and iron plates fast enough to be useful) they’re really useful for transporting rare or exotic things near the end of the supply chain.
To unlock this technology you need 150 of each kind of bottle. This means you’re going to feed 1,424,025 lbs (645,928kg) of stuff into the science labs. That’s about 1.7 times the maximum takeoff mass of a Boeing 747. Even if you don’t buy the idea that that much mass ends up in the bottle, your base still consumes that much, one way or another. Either it ends up in the bottle or it ends up as a waste product never depicted in the game.
From Paul Phillips:
I see adjoint functors.
How often do you see them?
All the time. They’re everywhere. pic.twitter.com/6PkGJ9wP4A
— Paul Phillips (@contrarivariant) May 27, 2017
Mashup of Saunders Mac Lane’s quip “Adjoint functors arise everywhere” and Haley Joel Osment’s famous line from Sixth Sense.
Related: Applied category theory
Actor Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) returns home to his family estate after almost two decades in America. When a gypsy festival comes to town he sees it as an excuse to woo local woman Gwen Conlyfe (Evelyn Ankers), but a late night encounter with a wolf in the woods sees Talbot injured before he beats it violently to death. The following morning a local gypsy (Bela Lugosi) is found dead in the woods, with Talbot the immediate suspect.
The Wolf Man, released all the way back in 1941 and directed by George Waggner, is a hugely influential film. It was not Hollywood’s first mainstream werewolf movie – that would be Werewolf of London from six years earlier – but it and its sequels went a long way to establishing the widely accepted lore of how werewolves develop and how they are killed in society’s popular memory. You can see its influence in the likes of An American Werewolf in London and The Howling (both 1981).
The huge shadow that The Wolf Man casts over Hollywood horror cinema actually causes it quite a few problems in the 21st century. We know its surprises now. We are overly familiar with its story and its tropes. Back in 1941 it probably carried quite a lot of suspense. In 2017 we sort of drum our fingers waiting for the inevitable. Appreciating the film within its historical context allows one to admire The Wolf Man, but I am not altogether certain how entertaining it is any more. It is worth watching to see the origin of all of those werewolf movie traditions, but as a horror picture in its own right it has aged almost to the point of being a little tedious.
Lon Chaney may star as the titular Wolf Man, but he does not entirely convince. In many scenes he seems to have walked onto the soundstage from the wrong film. He is surrounded by some great actors, however notably Claude Rains as Talbot’s warm and caring father and Bela Lugosi in fine form as a gypsy whose actions curse the younger Talbot to become the wolf. Evelyn Ankers also delivers a fairly strong and engaging performance. Together they have the unfortunate result of throwing Chaney’s less accomplished performance into sharp relief.
The film boasts some exceptional prosthetic make-up for the early 1940s, although it never stops to explain why a gypsy transformed into a werewolf simply appears to be a wolf, whereas when Talbot transforms it is still into a humanoid figure – albeit a hairy, fanged one. To its credit the film does not pull its punches when somebody transforms: it is a movie with a body count, and a quite tragic inevitability about what has befallen its characters.
Tragedy really is the key word here. The Wolf Man may be grouped with Universal’s famous monster movies, but in this film film at least it does not feel outrageously horrific. Instead it is simply sad: a man cursed to become a beast, people irrevocably destined to die at his hands, a trusting father led to the most heartbreaking realisation. There is plenty of appreciate and value in The Wolf Man, it simply creaks rather a lot as it goes.